As many as 20% of adolescents and 44% of young adults have shared nude or semi-nude photos of themselves via cell phone or social networking sites, a behavior known as sexting. Some people do it in the hopes it will lead to a “hook-up” or sexual activity. Sexting behavior and what results people expect may differ depending on a person’s gender, relationship status, and sexual identity, are explored in a study published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking website.
What people expect to experience when they send or receive sexts influence their decision to participate in sexting, according to study authors Allyson Dir and colleagues, Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis. The authors describe both positive and negative expectations when people send or receive sexts. They identified significant differences in sexting behaviors and expectations between males and females and between individuals who were single or were in relationships, reporting their findings in the article “Understanding Differences in Sexting Behaviors across Gender, Relationship Status, and Sexual Identity and the Role of Sexting Expectancies in Sexting.” *
“In the relatively new field of cyberpsychology, we endeavor to learn about the many challenges of current behavior that social networking makes possible,” says Brenda K. Wiederhold, PhD, MBA, BCIA, Editor-in-Chief of Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, from the Interactive Media Institute, San Diego, CA.
Allyson L. Dir, MS, Ayca Coskunpinar, MS, Jennifer L. Steiner, PhD, Melissa A. Cyders, PhD. doi:10.1089/cyber.2012.0545.